Today is International Women’s Day, a global day to honor and celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political accomplishments of women. Observed since the early 1900s, it marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality. This year’s campaign theme, #BeBoldForChange, implores us to help build a more inclusive, gender-equal world. It also coincides with the “Day Without a Woman” general strike, organized to bring attention to the inequalities women still face, including lower wages, vulnerability to discrimination, sexual harassment, and job insecurity. Women in thirty-five countries are participating in the strike.
We at Beacon Press publish works by and about women who have envisioned a better world and rose up to make it a reality, books that highlight the contributions women have made throughout history and today. In solidarity with the strike and the movement, we’re offering the following list of titles from our catalog. This list is by no means exhaustive. Make sure to check out all our other titles in Feminism and Gender.
This is the first ever biography to unearth the fascinating relationship between Anne Sullivan Macy and Helen Keller.
Caged Eyes: An Air Force Cadet’s Story of Rape and Resilience
Lynn K. Hall
Lynn K. Hall gives us an insider’s account of misogyny and rape in the US military and her extraordinary path to recovery and activism.
Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods
This is Christine Byl’s lively and lyrical account of her unlikely apprenticeship on a national-park trail crew and what she discovers about nature, gender, and the value of hard work.
Faith Ed: Teaching about Religion in an Age of Intolerance
Linda K. Wertheimer
Veteran education journalist Linda K. Wertheimer takes us on a cross-country trip to look at the debate over religion in the public school system.
Telling the stories of African American domestic workers, scholar and activist Premilla Nadasen resurrects the little-known history of domestic worker activism in the 1960s and 1970s, offering new perspectives on race, labor, feminism, and organizing.
“Human Rights Hero” Judge Nancy Gertner looks back on her illustrious career litigating groundbreaking cases when she was one of few women in a stubbornly male profession.
Octavia E. Butler
Novelist and MacArthur Fellow Octavia E. Butler was the first African American woman to make a name for herself in the field of science fiction. Kindred, her time-travel classic about confronting the visceral realities of slavery, was the novel that put her on the map.
Like One of the Family: Conversations from a Domestic’s Life
Featuring a foreword by bestselling author Roxane Gay, Alice Childress’s classic novel is an incisive portrait of working-class African American women in 1950’s Harlem
Helen Benedict’s The Lonely Soldier—the inspiration for the documentary The Invisible War—vividly tells the stories of five women who fought in Iraq between 2003 and 2006, and of the challenges they faced while fighting a war painfully alone.
This volume by much-loved poet and leading writer of the Black Arts Movement Sonia Sanchez is a collection of haiku that commemorates the lives of revered African American figures in the worlds of music, literature, art, and activism.
Eileen Pollack was one of Yale’s first two women to earn a Bachelor of Science degree in physics. This book is a bracingly honest exploration of why there are still so few women in the hard sciences, mathematics, engineering, and computer science.
Drawing from a diverse collection of interviews with women and girl activists, professor of education Lyn Mikel Brown explores how girls have embraced activism and provides a guide for adults who want to support their organizing.
The Rebellious Life of Mrs. Rosa Parks
Professor of Political Science Jeanne Theoharis examines Rosa Parks’s six decades of activism in this definitive political biography, challenging perceptions of her as an accidental actor in the civil rights movement.
From the heroic lawyer who spoke out against Clarence Thomas in the historic confirmation hearings, Anita Hill details how the current housing crisis imperils every American’s ability to achieve the American Dream.
Sex Workers Unite: A History of the Movement from Stonewall to SlutWalk
Activist and university professor Melinda Chateauvert traces the provocative history that reveals how sex workers have been at the vanguard of social justice movements for the past fifty years while building a movement of their own that challenges ideas about labor, sexuality, feminism, and freedom.
Professor Gayle F. Wald tells the untold story of the flamboyant musical prodigy Sister Rosetta Tharpe, America’s first rock guitar diva who paved the path for Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Eric Clapton, and Etta James.
Professor of history and women’s and gender studies Annelise Orleck tells the inspirational and little-known story of how welfare mothers in Las Vegas, America’s Sin City, built one of this country’s most successful anti-poverty programs—from the ground up.